Scraping of Translink Parking Stall Tax Commendable, Long Overdue

For Immediate Release

March 8, 2007

RICHMOND – The action taken by the Provincial government to kill Translink’s small-business endangering parking stall tax is commendable and long overdue, Richmond City Councillors Bill McNulty and Derek Dang said today.

“TransLink failed to stand-up for small-business by eliminating the parking tax and now it’s been overhauled by the Province” said Councillor Dang. “The elimination of this crippling tax once and for all will certainly be a step in the right direction to regain credibility.”

TransLink implemented a tax on non-residential parking stalls throughout their jurisdiction in 2006 despite massive pressure and ongoing protests from the small-business community. Once the first assessments went out, it became apparent that the $1.02 per square meter tax (later reduced to $0.78 per square meter) not only applied to parking spaces, but also to right of ways, bicycle racks and landscaping. Last week, Richmond First City Councillors again brought up the issue of Translink eliminating the parking stall tax before the final release of the Province’s review panel.

“Richmond First has been opposed to the parking tax from the start,” said Councillor McNulty. “While our voice and those of small-business fell on deaf ears at Translink, it’s nice to see they’ve been heard by the Province.”

Today, the Ministry of Transportation announced the results of its formal TransLink Governance Review Panel. The panel made 43 recommendations for revamping TransLink and making it a more effective decision making body. Part of the changes proposed for TransLink’s revenue generation will disallow the current parking stall tax.

“Given the recommendations laid out by the TransLink Governance Review Panel, it’s easy to see why changes needed to be made at Translink,” said Dang. “Thankfully the calls of small-business have been heard by the Province and will hopefully rid us once and for all of this ill-planned parking stall tax.”

The Province hopes to introduce legislation to bring in this new TransLink body in the spring session of the Legislature.

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